Over the course of 25 professional fights, I have only ever fought in a crop top once.  Even when I am lean, I always wear t-shirts because I am so self-conscious and embarrassed about my stomach.

Back around 2012, I was diagnosed with Poly Cystic Ovarian Disease.  I had been exercising rigorously and eating well and not losing weight.  I had been poked and prodded and tested for a million different things but no one could figure out why I was still, technically, ‘overweight’.  At this time I weighed about 77kgs (I am a staggering 5’5”to give you some measuring stick).

I sought out a new GP and she immediately said to me, these all sound like classic symptoms of PCOD.  I went and had a very uncomfortable test to confirm, and what do you know, I have PCOD.

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I’m not here to write about the impact of PCOD on women – maybe a story for another day.  But my point is this; PCOD messes with your hormones.  In a lot of women, being lean is not even possible.  I actually had to go on a specific form of an oral contraceptive, just so I could balance out my hormones a little and I naturally shed a little weight.  For me as an athlete, I never look like I ‘should’.  If you had someone approach me in a bar, or in the street, chances are, they might have a hard time believing that I am a professional athlete.  I don’t have abs, I don’t have superior definition in my arms or legs, I do not look like the girl on the cover of Women’s Health magazine.

To top things off, this year has been insanely taxing mentally.  I have been injured for 6 months and I really just had no self control with my food.  I couldn’t train properly, so saying yes to a few drinks became easy.  What did it matter if I didn’t feel good the next day?  Food, as per usual, became my comfort during an extremely stressful and trying time.  The end result of a visit home for Christmas, and a few months of bad eating, I have gained noticeable weight.  It happens.

When I fought the other night, even the staff who know me weren’t hesitant in telling me that I was “pom pui” (chubby) and my trainers have made it clear that my extra weight (in their opinion) is slowing me down and I need to slim down.  This may sound harsh, but they are not wrong, and once again I am venturing to lean out and be the best I can possibly be.

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My point to this little blog?  Since becoming a brand ambassador/sponsored GRRRL athlete, I am calling my own bullsh*t.  It’s time for me to practice what I preach.

I tell women all the time, to not worry about the way they look.  The scales don’t matter.  Mainstream media is unrealistic.  Real life is no photoshopped.  Yet I struggle daily with this myself.  I always wear baggy t-shirts, because I am now, even more so, embarrassed about my recent weight gain.

On Saturday night, in honour of our GRRRLs, I let it all hang out.   Fat rolls and all.  I got stared at, I felt uncomfortable, and I will probably never post the video footage because I hate seeing how out of shape I look – however – it was one of the most liberating things I have done in a quite some time.  Getting in there and not caring, and realizing that my looks did not impact the way I fight – it didn’t impact me getting a win, even though I took a fight on short notice.  Being a bit chubby doesn’t stop me from being a good person.  It doesn’t stop me from being a good fighter.  It only holds me back if I let it.

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Your looks don’t define you as a person.  I am not ‘perfect’, but I don’t need to be.

To all the beautiful GRRRLs out there – my biggest love to you.

For those of you that haven’t discovered GRRRL yet – head over to grrrlclothing.com and see what we’re all about!  If you want to purchase some swag, use ‘missmuaythai’ as the coupon code to get a nice 15% discount😉